Sleepers

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Warner Bros. Released 1996

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9.0
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Movie Summary

Director:
Barry Levinson
Released:
1996
Rating:
R

Sleepers is a 1996 legal drama chronicling four childhood friends who grew up in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of New York City during the 1960's. Despite being mentored by Father Bobby (Robert De Niro), Lorenzo Carcaterra (Joseph Perrino), Thomas Marcano (Jonathan Tucker), Michael Sullivan (Brad Renfro), and John Reilly (Geoffrey Wigdor) find themselves in legal trouble when a prank against a hot dog vendor goes awry. The boys are sent to the Wilkinson Home for Boys in upstate New York where they are beaten, abused, and raped by guards Sean Nokes (Kevin Bacon), Henry Addison (Jeffrey Donovan), Adam Styler (Lennie Loftin), and Ralph Ferguson (Terry Kinney). Fourteen years later the boys are grown up and after they find themselves in more legal trouble, they must convince Father Bobby to lie for them under oath. Also starring Ron Eldard, Billy Crudup, Jason Patric, Minnie Driver, and Brad Pitt, Sleepers was written and directed by Barry Levinson.

Metacritic Score

  • 90

    Variety David Stratton

    Colorful characters, richly evoked settings, epic story of friendship, crime and punishment, and a strong dose of good old-fashioned star power.

  • 30

    The New York Times Elvis Mitchell

    As directed by Barry Levinson and acted by an incredible collection of male stars, Sleepers settles the authenticity question by allowing not a whiff of real life into its universe.

  • 30

    Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan

    The film's tone works overtime at mythologizing tawdry incidents into some ultimate epic about the lost innocence of youth. Gilded trash is more like it.

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Themes

Thrillers, Crime